CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL fans are eagerly awaiting the first big event of the week today as the Champion Hurdle headlines Tuesday’s races.
All eyes will be on Buveur D’Air as he aims to become a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle.
It would put him in esteemed company with the likes of Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq.
There is a fear Buveur D’Air may well be pipped this afternoon, though, given his performance at Kempton’s Christmas Hurdle.
Experienced jockey Barry Geraghty will ride him, but strong competition is expected to be provided from Apple’s Jade, who goes in as slight favourite with jockey Jack Kennedy on board.
Cheltenham results LIVE: Latest fast results from Cheltenham Festival
“You’d be a bit wild not to expect the places to be reversed”
Buveur D’Air is owned by Nicky Henderson, and ahead of the race he has said: “Everything has gone smoothly with Buveur D’Air.
“His preparation at Sandown was great and while he got beaten by Verdana Blue at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle, this is a completely different ball game to two miles around there on goodish ground.
“You’d be a bit wild not to expect the places to be reversed.
“He’s in very good form and I’m very happy with where he is – I’m confident he’s coming in a better horse than he was last year.”
Henderson’s claims come ahead of plenty of exciting action at Cheltenham today, and Starsport has you covered with:
- The FIVE banker bets for the 2019 Cheltenham Festival
- The best bets TODAY from Britain’s top tipster
- The full weather forecast for Cheltenham – will it rain TODAY?
It may not be a straight fight between Apple’s Jade and Buveur D’Air, however.
Laurina, the third-favourite for the Champion Hurdle, should be another potent threat and is ridden by Ruby Walsh.
When is the Champion Hurdle?
The race gets underway at 3.30pm today on the first day at the Cheltenham Festival.
How can the race be watched?
ITV will be broadcasting the Champion Hurdle live in the UK today as part of their Cheltenham Festival coverage.
Fans can also see the race live online via ITV Player.
Ruby Walsh’s tip for the Champion Hurdle
The more rain that falls, the better chance Laurina has in the Champion Hurdle.
She’s in great form and she’s travelled well. Form wise, she has a lot to improve on to win this race.
I saw Apples Jade on Monday morning, she looks great and Buveur D’Air is a dual champions who deserves more credit than he gets.
I’m hoping Laurina steps up though.
Who’s racing and what are the odds?
Apple’s Jade – 2/1
Buveur D’Air – 5/2
Laurina – 10/3
Espoir D’Allen – 16/1
Melon – 18/1
Sharjah – 20/1
Brain Power – 28/1
Verdana Blue – 33/1
Silver Streak – 50/1
Global Citizen – 66/1
Cheltenham Festival UNDER THREAT – Will Day Two be cancelled?
Day Two of the Cheltenham Festival is under threat with Storm Gareth wreaking havoc up and down the country.
Organisers are prepared to extend the Festival until Saturday should they have to cancel racing on Wednesday.
Course Clerk Simon Claisse said: “We wanted to give you an early insight into conditions for tomorrow. The forecast is looking challenging with strong gusting winds throughout the day.
“We are continually monitoring the situation and will keep racegoers informed as the conditions present themselves.”